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Fri, Jul 12


Var Gallery 2nd Street

Capitol V: Niki Johnson

Opening Reception: July 12th, 2024, 6-9 PM

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Capitol V: Niki Johnson
Capitol V: Niki Johnson

Time & Location

Jul 12, 2024, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Var Gallery 2nd Street, 643 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204, USA

About the Event

The exhibition, titled Capitol V, draws focus to the negotiation of power between women’s bodies and state governments across our country. The exhibition features portraits of all 50 state capitol buildings as well as the capitol buildings of six inhabited US territories, each made completely out of Swarovski Crystal. Each capitol is framed in a layered shadow box, so the crystal used in personal adornment of the mons pubis, or vajazzle, appears to float over a “virgin” landscape. The portraits are scaled to one-tenth the height of the actual capitol buildings. Each artwork holds between 150 to 2,800 crystals, bringing nearly 60,000 crystals to the exhibition space.

Niki Johnson is a Milwaukee based Artist, Curator and Executive Director of Forward Art Initiative. Raised in New Mexico, Johnson has spent her adult life living across the United States, including five-year stints in San Francisco, California, and Memphis, Tennessee. She received her BFA from the University of Memphis and MA/MFA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Studio Art. For the past decade, Johnson has run her studio full-time, exhibiting her art and curating local and national exhibitions. Her artwork is in several private and public collections including the collection of Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell, the collection of Ken and Melinda Krei, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Madison Central Public Library, UW-Health’s American Center Hospital and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Reviews of Johnson’s artwork have been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, and Vice Magazine, amongst other national and international media sources.

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